Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor
- Director: Shelley Thompson
- Writer: Shelley Thompson
- Producer: Terry Greenlaw; Shelley Thompson
If you are not trans yourself, you are stepping into an uncharted minefield, when you decide to make a film about a trans experience!
Choose your words carefully...or, you might be cancelled. Justify why you are the right person for the job...or, you will be cancelled. In recent times, many productions have been cancelled...most notably, Scarlett Johansson's Rub & Tug - and then, there was the boycotting hoo-ha that Rhys Ernst’s Adam caused - and that was made by a transman! We could cite many more examples...but, it's fair to say, the trans film genre is as fickle as a petrified, politically correct chameleon!
So...this here film is Shelley Thompson's debut feature, about a transwoman returning back to her rural home...for the first time since her transition. Aaargh! Minefield! You can almost hear the toxicity spewing forth from the PC brigade!
Is Shelley Thompson trans? No. Cancel! Boycott! But...she does have a trans son. A precarious calm descends upon the brigade...this could go either way!
Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor will - most definitely - surprise the brigade, because of what it's not. It's not a film about transitioning. There are no discussions about surgeries, hormones, hardships and all the palaver that usually comes with a trans film. This is a good old, wholesome, family drama...replete with the hateful bigot and the adorable buffoon! Hey, it's de rigeur...in every family drama - you've got to have conflict and comic relief...the brigade are wavering, teetering on the edges of their collective seating arrangement, readying themselves...to explode!
Whispers of...white, middle-class are rustling under breaths, how clean is that farm and his dungarees! The brigade are getting agitated...idealism is just not their thing...nor, are tractors!
Look...if Hallmark were to make a film about transition...this would be it. Innocuous and shamelessly sentimental...it's just a different way [and, from a different perspective] to tell a story...by an ally...and, we all need allies, whether you like tractors or not!
Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor from Northernstars.ca on Vimeo on Vimeo.
When a young woman with a startling resemblance to her mother arrives home for her mother’s funeral, one family begins an odyssey toward understanding.
Dawn returns home to Nova Scotia to mourn the death of her mother and repair the estrangement with her father, John Andrew. An ancient tractor becomes the focus for the mechanically-minded Dawn, but her father’s long-simmering resentments heighten tensions. Watching his daughter work to restore the tractor, he realises that reclaiming this relationship depends on his own coming out: supporting Dawn publicly and fighting malicious small-town transphobia.
Shelley Thompson’s feature directorial debut follows a father and daughter as they cautiously rebuild their relationship and come to understand the mechanics of the heart.
Cast & Characters
Maya Henry as Dawn
Robb Wells as John Andrew
Amy Groening as Tammy
Reid Price as Byron
Taylor Olson as Marty
Oliver Boyle as Kyle
Breton Lalama as Banu
Monte Murray as Angus
Francine Deschepper as Jenny
Richie Wilcox as Ethan
Stoo Metz as Jock
Abigail Hudson as Bad Girl at Funeral Home
Hans Bogild as Jerry